Dave Gilbert Honored for Riparian Achievements

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By Steve Sanchez and Mike Cassell, Bureau of Land Management

The riparian coordinators in the three BLM Field Offices covering the San Luis Valley jointly nominated Dave Gilbert of the BLM Royal Gorge Field Office for his long-term dedication to protecting and enhancing the riparian resources in the San Luis Valley. Dave has been very proactive in fisheries and riparian management efforts in the Saguache, La Jara, and Canon City Field Offices for the past 10 years.

In Saguache, Dave has been instrumental in working towards improving riparian conditions through proper livestock and recreation management in La Garita Creek, Eaglebrook Creek, Dorsey Creek and Ford Creek. Dave has spearheaded the instream flow effort for BLM San Luis valley wide. Dave is a valuable member of several working teams providing fisheries and riparian expertise. He is actively involved with the term permit renewal process and other NEPA actions associated with projects. Dave works closely with the range program to insure riparian and fisheries issues are addressed in all Land Health Assessments. Finally, Dave works with state officials to ensure the interests of San Luis Valley BLM are considered.

In Canon City Field Office he has been instrumental in working towards improving riparian conditions through proper livestock and recreation management in Badger Creek and Grape Creek. Dave has supported land acquisitions in the Badger Creek drainage and Cache Creek in order to bring riparian habitat into public ownership and begin restoration and rehabilitation efforts. Dave has spearheaded the Fremont Pass Restoration Project near Leadville and has secured a large EPA grant with numerous partners and cooperators. Dave is a valuable member of several working teams providing fisheries and riparian expertise. He is actively involved with the Fourmile Travel Management Plan and the Gold Belt Travel Management Plan. Dave works closely with the range program to insure riparian issues are addressed in all Land Health Assessments and he participates on the Front Range Streamlining Consultation Team.

In the LaJara Field Office, Dave has worked long and hard in this end of the valley to enhance riparian, fisheries and wetland values. Dave is responsible for an unparalleled fisheries program at Blanca Wetlands, and actively contributes to weed management at the wetlands. Dave has been BLM’s fisheries guru for NEPA, term permit renewals, watershed assessments and he was there at the beginning of, and continues to be a driving force in the Rio Grande riparian restoration epic saga.

For his tireless efforts to protect and enhance riparian habitat in the San Luis Valley, the Colorado Riparian Association presents the 2002 Award for Excellence in Riparian Management to Dave Gilbert from BLM’s Royal Gorge Field Office in Canon City, Colorado. Congratulations!